Player's Own Voice

Player's Own Voice podcast: Keely Shaw's torturous route to Tokyo

The Player's Own Voice podcast connects with Paralympian road and track cyclist Keely Shaw.

Hockey was her Olympic dream — then disaster struck

(From Keely Shaw's Facebook page)

When she was 15 years old, Keely Shaw had it all figured out. 

Hockey would be the through line on a life plan consisting of high performance competition, scouting, scholarships, Olympics — the sky was the limit. 

So when Shaw, in Grade 9, was thrown from her beloved horse while she was out on the prairies, sustaining brain injuries and partial paralysis, her first reaction was furious resentment at the sport from which she was suddenly denied.

It took a few years, a ton of discipline, and working through significant psychological setbacks, but Shaw eventually rediscovered high-performance sport.

Shaw is a world class road and track Paralympian cyclist now. And when she isn't pounding the pedals, she's also chasing her PhD.

Believe it or not, Shaw is also studying the performance benefits of dark chocolate at high altitude. 

The plan always was to be competing at Tokyo 2020, but Shaw just never imagined this particular path would be the one to take her there. 

Player's Own Voice podcast host Anastasia Bucsis meets the Canadian Paralympian as she sets her sights on the next world championship races in Milton, Ont.

Like the CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice essay series, POV podcast lets athletes speak to Canadians about issues from a personal perspective. To listen to Keely Shaw and earlier guests this season, subscribe for free on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tune In or wherever you get your other podcasts.

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